Starbucks Experiences #PRFail Because They’re Raising Prices (Again)

Maybe they can use the new revenue to invest in crisis communications.

It’s not breaking news that this country is addicted to coffee, specifically the java brewed by the mermaid with the crazy hair. Untold millions visit the ‘bucks every day to satisfy their caffeine fix and discover creative new ways to misinterpret the spelling of their names.

However, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz really isn’t satisfied with that. He would like a few million more.

Despite a global decline of about 42% in Arabica futures prices from a peak late last year (which means it doesn’t cost much to buy the coffee you pay for in the drive-thru), Starbucks is raising the price of its drinks for the third year in a row.

The price hike will affect small and large brewed coffees, raising the price by 10 cents throughout most of the country. Essentially, this means that a large cup of coffee…sorry, a Venti…would cost $2.45. From the emailed statement:

megabucks“We continually evaluate pricing on a product-by-product and market-by-market basis in our stores in order to balance the need to run our business profitably while continuing to provide value to our loyal customers and to attract new customers.”

Translation: that trickle-down fat drops on all of us. As you would imagine, some people aren’t happy and they’re finally speaking out against Starbucks.

“Speaking out” is something PR professional are trained to defend against. And then, you have the PR types who work at brands like Starbucks. They are trained to defend, just not trained to expect.

Maybe that’s why this is happening without regret. We’ll soon see. Meanwhile, I’ll be getting the Grande.